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After nearly four decades, MTV News is no more

MTV news correspondent Sway Calloway and Hillary Clinton speak to Iraq War veterans during a taping of MTV's "Choose or Lose" on March 18, 2008 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Jeff Fusco
Getty Images
MTV news correspondent Sway Calloway and Hillary Clinton speak to Iraq War veterans during a taping of MTV's "Choose or Lose" on March 18, 2008 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Mr. President, the world is dying to know. Is it boxers or briefs?

What is it? A memory of better, cooler days for many Gen Xers and Millennials.

  • Started by the channel known for providing the masses with music videos in a pre-YouTube time, MTV News began in the '80s with a single show fronted by iconic host Kurt Loder.
  • Soon, the cast of hosts and programming expanded to include journalists like Sway Calloway, SuChin Pak, Alison Stewart, Gideon Yago and more.
  • The channel soon made a name for themselves providing news and essential interviews with entertainment's biggest stars – like Madonna, Prince and Tupac – focusing their coverage on what young people were paying attention to.
  • What's the big deal? Aside from the fact that time marches on endlessly, the shutdown of MTV News was actually part of larger layoffs at Paramount Global.

  • Chris McCarthy, CEO and president of MTV's parent company Paramount networks announced this week that they would be laying off 25% of their domestic team, which included shuttering down entire divisions of programming and coverage.
  • That continues the carnage in media layoffs in the past months, joining the likes of Buzzfeed News, Vice, ESPN, Insider, Gawker – and NPR, too.
  • The channel had some unforgettable coverage through the years, like the fall of the Berlin wall, a town hall with then-President Bill Clinton and, of course, the death of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.
  • What are people saying? Here's what some former hosts had to say

    Want more on pop culture? Listen to Consider This on Dolly Parton's new book on perservance and standing up to bullies.

    Former host Kurt Loder in a Daily Beast op-ed:

    Now that MTV News is gone, taken down by changing media and attendant audience attrition, does that mean the high old times of that vanishing period are unrepeatable history? Do young journos of today have nothing to look forward to? Oh please.

    So, what now?

  •  Mass layoffs continue to affect other sectors of the economy, especially tech. 
  • This week, LinkedIn announced it would be cutting more than 700 jobs; Intel also confirmed its intention to cut its workforce, though did not say how many workers would be affected.
  • Meta and Amazon have each also announced plans to cut thousands more jobs this year.
  • Learn more:

  • This duo rehearsed between air raid alarms. Now they're repping Ukraine at Eurovision
  • Disney's Q2 earnings: increased profits but a mixed picture
  • 'Sesame Street' introduces TJ, the show's first Filipino American muppet
  • Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Manuela López Restrepo
    Manuela López Restrepo is a producer and writer at All Things Considered. She's been at NPR since graduating from The University of Maryland, and has worked at shows like Morning Edition and It's Been A Minute. She lives in Brooklyn with her cat Martin.